After reading the play version of George Orwell�s 1984, though altered to fit the stage, I was amazed how I could draw parallel lines that tied to Bradbury�s Fahrenheit 451. Written only 4 years before Bradbury�s, Orwell created a similar totalitarian society set in a war zone of the future where government manipulates literature, history and language as a means of control to create a society where nothing is ever questioned and all is accepted. Bradbury�s firemen is to Orwell�s �Thought Police�, and instead of burning books, they punish those who commit �crimethink�, or, any thought that opposes that of their dictator, Big Brother. Telescreens are in every room, much like parlors, only they broadcast the Big Brother�s propaganda. The slow elimination of vocabulary and rewriting of novels in the provincial �thoughtspeak� provides slim opportunities to communicate individuality and independent thought. Orwell ends 1984 with the main character, after evaluating understanding his fixed role in a disordered society, submitting to Big Brother and the government.
Even if you have not read 1984, would you think it possible that Bradbury modeled his novel after Orwell�s themes of manipulation, control, literary destruction and absolutism? Did Bradbury feel he needed to write something of the same power and degree, only have the main character triumph over self and society?
Orwell published "1984" in 1948.
Bradbury published "Bright Phoenix" (precursor to "Farenheit 451") in 1947.
Whether either knew of the other's work, perhaps Mr. B could tell us?
Orwell originally meant for 1984 to be named 1964 - because the books was 90% complete by 1946.
Reviving this very old thread to alert Orwell fans to some current BBC Radio programming about him; a season called "The Real George Orwell". It includes a dramatised reading of ANIMAL FARM and a dramatisation of HOMAGE TO CATALONIA.
Details here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pyz0z
Radio shows are usually available to listen to on the website for 7 days after broadcast, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Interesting article (below) from just about a year ago. F451 carries a message to each of us to be on our guard. Unfortunately, Mr. B's message is falling on fewer attentive ears these days. Common Core (a key reason for my escape), technology vs. imagination, drugs ~ in the a.m./mid-day/p.m. for all that ails one, screens everywhere & of all sizes and shapes, ads repeating themselves like looped mantras, pictures vs. words...I think you get the message.
When I taught F451 in HS, and still from time to time in adult lit courses, the message remained that of the responsibility one has to his/her own learning. RB's characters in the novel reflected this in various ways and statements throughout the story: Clarisse, Guy, Beatty, Faber, Granger, et al. Each a case study!
Note - the girl's paper at end of this clip is similar to the one of the train passenger in the Truffaut movie (no words!)
Now, here's something seriously scary-assed. According to this program I just saw, an episode of America's Book of Secrets on H2, the NSA is storing every word of every email written from anybody, to anybody. (At least, if either the sender or recipient is in America. Don't know about other countries.) They put it all in a giant database in Utah and save it forever to be used as evidence against you.
Since the episode is new, it's set up so you can't watch it online yet unless you sign up with your TV service provider so they can gather all sorts of information on you. (Oh, the irony!) I wouldn't create an account. I imagine that like others, the episode will become available later. Anyhow, I include a description below.
Wonder who gets their jollies reading everyone's contributions?
They also want to microchip everybody by making them swallow cyber pills!!!
Be on the lookout!
Season 3 Season 2 Season 1
Big BrotherWatch Full Episode
Premiere Date:April 05, 2014 - 10:00-11:00PM ET
This episode uncovers the secret surveillance methods the government and big business use to watch, monitor and record our every move. Government whistleblowers, Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack, reveal how the NSA decided to aggressively monitor Americans' correspondence after 9/11. Documentarian Cullen Hoback explains how the government has partnered with Silicon Valley high-tech companies like Facebook and Yahoo to gather data on every American citizen. And former computer hacker Sammy Kamkar explains how someone could watch you from inside your own home. Buzzing drones overhead. Emails monitored and stored. Cell phone records tracked and analyzed. In today's digital age, is the concept of privacy now extinct? There are those who believe Big Brother is already here–and that the secret monitoring of American citizens has only just begun.
April 06, 2014 - 02:00-03:00AM ET
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April 19, 2014 - 11:00-12:00AM ET
While I also worry about (or, more accurately, just plain disapprove of) such Big-Brotherism, part of me says, "OK, if you want to waste your time and space collecting all this crap that passes for email, go right ahead".
It's a bit like the all-pervasive CCTV monitoring - we have a lot of this in the UK. It rarely ever prevents a crime (the reason usually given to justify its existence), but it is OCCASIONALLY useful in solving a crime after the event.
LOL. My brother-in-law says they're not really collecting or reading all emails, just monitoring what words are used--as if real criminals wouldn't have code words!
There is also the ability to hack into a camera on a X-Box and take a 3-D image of some dude playing X-Box--as if anyone would want any such picture, no matter who it was!--and not that anyone has ever actually done this--but the danger is supposedly they could also see and hear anything going on in the background.
How sad that we are at that stage even today and big brother is dictating how we think and act. Obama is very much behind that and carrying that on as a dictator would and ignoring democratic means the senate and congress that discuss and pass laws like this.
It is our obligation we fight for schools and literature, read and be allowed to publish anything we want even if it is anti american or anti islamic. the people have a right to their own thinking and ideas. If we limit creatiuve thinking we reduce ourselves to no more than to the level of the machine.
One of Ray Bradbury's stories (not f451) also discussed a matter like this. It is time we make a stand and fight for our right as human beings.
FA Nathaniel A. Miller, USN Ret.
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